*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***
There are SPOILERS below! If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.
The opening shot of the medicine bottles was a very effective way to set the scene and the time period, reminding the audience we're in the 18th century. The abrupt transition to Claire and Frank in the train station circa 1940(?) was a shock, but I liked the scene very much.
"Woe betide the man who stands between you and what you set your mind upon." - Great line, and I laughed when I heard it. I also like that Frank finds Claire's stubbornness attractive. <g>
"Promise you'll return to me" is just heartwrenching. (Another good addition.) This scene makes Frank a much more sympathetic character, IMHO, and I liked that.
I liked Claire's "Bloody hell!" under her breath when she's doused with cold water. (Did anybody else think of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" when watching this? Given how much it's been in the news lately, it was kind of hard not to think of it.)
The whole scene with Mrs. Fitz is just terrific! Very convincing, and I'm glad they didn't make it obvious that it was Claire's imagination.
I liked Claire's "Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!" when she sees the slaters. (If you want to see what they look like at close range, see my Friday Fun Facts post here.)
The scene with Colum and the tailor is absolutely priceless -- I loved the whole thing. Gary Lewis played that PERFECTLY. <g> This is one of my favorite scenes in the episode.
I thought that changing the massage scene from Alec (in the book) to Colum here was quite effective. I liked the way Colum went behind the drapes on the other side of the table to take his breeks off, so they didn't have to CGI his legs while he got undressed.
"You don't have demons in Oxfordshire, Mistress?" "We do. But we call them Scots." - Good line, and I liked the fact that Claire actually made Colum laugh.
I loved Dougal's line at the beginning of the Hall scene: "It seems the feral cat we picked up on the road is trying to pull in her claws."
The scene between Claire, Laoghaire, and Jamie in the Hall was very good, just as I imagined, and also reassuring that they went back to the book. I liked the way Claire poked Jamie when he said, "naught but a rabble of snot-nosed bairns." <g> Nell Hudson is excellent as L, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her.
Gwyllyn's music is beautiful.
I like the flickering light in the scene between J&C in the surgery. We don't actually need to see the fire in the hearth to know it's there; we can tell by the crackling sounds and the way the light and shadows play across the room. I thought that was very interesting, and effective.
I love the looks J&C are giving each other in this scene, while Claire inspects his injured shoulder. Also, the little sigh Claire gives at the end, when Jamie leaves, as if to say, "Yeah, he's hot, but....Frank!!"
The brief glimpse of the thistles made me smile. I liked the scene with Geillis and Claire, and Angus is very funny! (I had no trouble telling who he was, in this episode.)
I like the cobbled streets. I was a little uncertain where this scene was taking place, though. On the castle grounds somewhere? It seemed that the Baxter house is within walking distance of the castle, not as far away as Cranesmuir, but I could be wrong.
The scene with Father Bain is riveting and very well done. He's just mesmerizing. <g>
I liked the way they worked in the alcove scene with Jamie and Laoghaire. I bet we'll see that bit in flashback later! And Angus, again, is very funny, the way he looks at Claire approvingly, like a parent with a child who's finally learned to mind him, when he sees she actually stayed put the way he told her to. <g>
The dining scene was very good. Again, it's reassuring that they went back to the book for this scene, with only minor changes. I thought it was fine for Murtagh to be the one speaking to Claire (rather than Old Alec, as it is in the book). We really haven't seen Murtagh interact with her much so far, and this scene helps to make it clearer for the viewers, I think, that Murtagh is always looking out for Jamie's best interests.
"Not jealous of Laoghaire. Jealous of their intimacy." -- interesting to hear Claire's thoughts here.
In Cranesmuir, I liked the fact that they remembered the diamond-paned windows in the Duncans' house! (Good attention to detail there!) Geillis talking about "a born temptress" made me smile -- look who's talking! And it's clear from some of the things she says that Geillis already suspects Claire might be a time-traveler ("Assuming that's what you mean", etc.)
I love Geillis in this scene (her costume is beautiful), and Arthur is delightful, too. <g>
I caught a minor inconsistency in this bit:
Arthur: "Stole two bannocks"
Claire, a moment later: "Stealing a loaf of bread"
So, um, which is it? (Too bad the production people didn't notice that. Oops.)
I liked the way they did the rescue of the boy who had his ear nailed to the pillory, very much like the book, and the transition to the Black Kirk scene was very smooth.
Wood garlic vs. lily-of-the-valley -- I'll have to look them up one of these days. I thought that was fascinating.
I liked the way both Claire and Mrs. Fitz stood up to Father Bain. Good for them! <g>
Good scene with J&C and the horse. It's not in the book, but it makes sense.
I liked the way they interspersed the song about the wife of Balnain with Claire's memories of Craigh na Dun. Although, to be honest, I thought the way the lyrics of the song were changed so they EXACTLY paralleled what happened to Claire (touching the tallest stone threw her back in time, etc.) was rather contrived and heavy-handed compared to the way it's done in the book. (Give the viewers credit for a little intelligence! We're smart enough to figure it out without bright red flashing arrows pointing to the part we're supposed to take notice of.)
Finally, I liked the way Claire was wearing her hair loose, in the final scene. She's beginning to relax just a bit, and I think that was a good sign.
My overall impression: There's a lot to enjoy in this episode. It's well-acted, well-written, and the music and the cinematography are very good. But on the initial viewing, I found the deviations from the book rather disconcerting. (Yes, of course I realize it's an adaptation, but I wasn't really expecting them to be inventing entire subplots that aren't in the book, and that took a while to adjust to.) I liked this episode MUCH better the second time, now that I know what's going to be different, and what's going to be the same, and I can simply relax and enjoy the story.
And I am really looking forward to next week's episode! Judging from the previews, it's going to be terrific! <g>
I hope you enjoyed this recap. You can see my comments on the previous episodes here:
Episode 101: "Sassenach"
Episode 102: "Castle Leoch"
Episode 105: "Rent"
Episode 106: "The Garrison Commander"
Episode 107: "The Wedding"
Episode 108: "Both Sides Now"
Episode 109: "The Reckoning"
Episode 110: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"
Please come back next week for my recap of Episode 104!